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Military reserve forces of France

The military reserve forces of France are the military reserve force within the French Armed Forces.


From the very moment Napoléon Bonaparte took power as First Consul in the coup of 18 Brumaire, he was feared by his rivals, and keenly supported by the army. They participated in the creation of a new constitution that forbade a Consul from leading an active army outside France. The violence of the coup d'état had already caused disquiet, and the consuls had access to an impressive garde des consuls.[citation needed]

Following the new constitution to the letter, Napoléon raised a reserve army (and thus not counting as an active army) at Dijon to support his war effort in Italy. This was the turning point of his Second Italian campaign.[1]

From 1872 to 1999 the French Army reserves were divided into:

Present organisation

On the suspension of obligatory national service and the professionalisation of its armies, France also modified the organisation of its military reserve in the same professionalising way. Law n°99-894 of 22 October 1999 (modified by law 2006-449 of 18 April 2006) set out the organisation of the military reserve and of the defence forces.

The military reserve was organised into two bodies :

These reservists serve in many branches of the forces - the air force, army, gendarmerie, navy, health service, supply corps, and DGA.

The Reserve of the French Army

The Army operational reserve is about 60% headquarters/staff specialists and 40% sub-unit reservists (company, battery, squadron, drill).

Two types of reserve units are in service:

Training consists of:

Among the units expected to form reserve sub-units, circa 2014, were the 1er RI ; Sarrebourg; 35e RI ; Belfort; 92e RI ; Clermont-Ferrand; 126e RI ; Brive; 152e RI ; Colmar; 7e BCA ; Varces ; 13e BCA ; Barby; 16e BC ; Bitche; 27e BCA ; Annecy; 1er RTir ; Epinal; 1er RCP ; Pamiers; 501e RCC ; Mourmelon Le Grand; 1er RCh ; Thierville Sur Meuse; 4e RCh ; Gap; 12e RC ; Olivet; 4e RD ; Carnoux En Provence; 1er RHP ; Tarbes; 3e RH ; Metz; and the 1er RS ; Valence.


  1. ^ Le Capitaine de Cugnac, Campagne de l’armée de Reserve en 1800; Paris 1900. See also Armée d'Italie.